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    Thread: Went for .22 Ammo, Bought .243 Rifle. Gonna Get Those Darn'd Groundhogs!

    1. Member
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      04-20-2012 09:28 PM #1
      Back story: We have a huge groundhog problem on my parent's farm, that I've been thinking more and more about taking care of. But it was only nagging in the back of my mind until...

      Today: Went to Gander Mountain to buy .22 ammo, left with Remington .243 rifle with scope.

      First Observation: .243 packs of 20 cost $19.

      But Good News: The whole rifle/scope package only set me back $350. Great deal!

      SO...

      1) Give me some advice on groundhog hunting. This is the first hunting I've ever done.

      2) I'd like to paint this rifle, because it's ugly in all black plastic, and it was cheap so who gives a crap. Suggest rattle can paint brands suitable for the type of plastic this rifle stock is made of.






    2. Member VDubby18's Avatar
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      04-20-2012 11:26 PM #2
      How big are groundhogs?


      I use a .243 to hunt white tail deer with. I think you'll be taking out some groundhogs.

    3. Administrator LangsamKafer's Avatar
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      04-20-2012 11:38 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by VDubby18 View Post
      How big are groundhogs?


      I use a .243 to hunt white tail deer with. I think you'll be taking out some groundhogs.
      They weigh anything from 5-15#. I'm not too familiar with the external ballistics of .243, but I know plenty of folks that hunt groundhogs with .223, .22-250 and 220 Swift... quite effective on them.

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      04-21-2012 12:08 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by VDubby18 View Post
      I use a .243 to hunt white tail deer with. I think you'll be taking out some groundhogs.

    5. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      04-21-2012 11:39 AM #5
      It's going to take you a lot of patience. I used to shoot groundhogs when we lived in New York. the .243 will work quite well. The groundhogs are not as stupid as we want them to be. If they know a dude with a gun is going to blow them into pieces they'll sit in that little hole for HOURS. I mean wouldn't you?

      Lay low and try to reduce your silhouette. Ground hogs can also feel the slightest vibrations in the ground so either walk very light when stalking them or learn to lay still for hours. I actually found that listening to music made the time pass faster while waiting for them to pop up and start scurrying about.

      Here's a link to the story I wrote after I bagged that last ground hog:
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...ight=groundhog

      Good luck!

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

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      04-21-2012 12:25 PM #6
      Woodchucks have an endearing habit of popping their heads up to peak around while they chew their mouth full of grass, freshly sprouted peas or flowers. I've done most of my stalking them from hands and knees. When they pop their head up, I freeze. When they go down for another mouth full, I stalk. Sometimes it can be awhile and they'll still get nervous and scurry into their hole. Be patient. They tend to pop up to look about again after a few moments. I've hunted them with .22LR and 7.62 FMJ. I've noticed that you didn't actually have to hit them with the 7.62 to kill them. A near miss is good enough. I hit is pretty obvious, but how do you explain a dead woodchuck with no bullet hole?
      Quote Originally Posted by winstonsmith84 View Post
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    7. 04-21-2012 03:07 PM #7
      Aervoe is pretty popular with people who rattle can their rifles and expect the paint to hold up.

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      04-21-2012 04:58 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by gotta_jet View Post
      Aervoe is pretty popular with people who rattle can their rifles and expect the paint to hold up.
      Thanks! I actually ended up just going with Krylon for plastic. Reading up on painting threads on other forums indicated that it was a good compromise between easy to use/fast drying, cheap, and still good durability.

      Did it this afternoon, here are the results:




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      04-21-2012 05:04 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Obin Robinson View Post
      It's going to take you a lot of patience. I used to shoot groundhogs when we lived in New York. the .243 will work quite well. The groundhogs are not as stupid as we want them to be. If they know a dude with a gun is going to blow them into pieces they'll sit in that little hole for HOURS. I mean wouldn't you?

      Lay low and try to reduce your silhouette. Ground hogs can also feel the slightest vibrations in the ground so either walk very light when stalking them or learn to lay still for hours. I actually found that listening to music made the time pass faster while waiting for them to pop up and start scurrying about.

      Here's a link to the story I wrote after I bagged that last ground hog:
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...ight=groundhog

      Good luck!

      obin
      Quote Originally Posted by Egilbe View Post
      Woodchucks have an endearing habit of popping their heads up to peak around while they chew their mouth full of grass, freshly sprouted peas or flowers. I've done most of my stalking them from hands and knees. When they pop their head up, I freeze. When they go down for another mouth full, I stalk. Sometimes it can be awhile and they'll still get nervous and scurry into their hole. Be patient. They tend to pop up to look about again after a few moments. I've hunted them with .22LR and 7.62 FMJ. I've noticed that you didn't actually have to hit them with the 7.62 to kill them. A near miss is good enough. I hit is pretty obvious, but how do you explain a dead woodchuck with no bullet hole?
      Thanks for the advice, both of you.

      Going to start staking them out tomorrow. I've already gone in and marked with surveyors tape where their main holes are, and I've picked a couple good spots to lay in wait that will give me a good view and don't have any hazards behind my shots.

      There is one burrow that's going to be tricky - it goes into the foundation of a large barn, and it's surrounded by equipment. There is really only one way to make a safe shot with no risk of hitting anything or the barn, so I might be waiting there for a while since it'll be entirely dependent on the groundhog coming out and chilling in a very specific spot

      I give myself a 20% success rate

    10. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      04-21-2012 05:48 PM #10
      Do you have a clear shot to all of their holes? If so then make a range card. I have a pretty good ballistics computer program on hand so if you tell me the barrel length, twist rate, and ammo brand I can tell you exactly where every bullet will hit at any range from 25m to 200m.

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

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      04-21-2012 06:02 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Obin Robinson View Post
      Do you have a clear shot to all of their holes? If so then make a range card. I have a pretty good ballistics computer program on hand so if you tell me the barrel length, twist rate, and ammo brand I can tell you exactly where every bullet will hit at any range from 25m to 200m.

      obin
      Wow, okay!

      There are 4 holes I will be staking out. 2 of them are at about 120 yards from my 1st stake out location, 1 is 90 yards, and the last is 155 yards. These yardages are paced out, so approximate.

      The barrel twist rate is 10", 22" barrel length, and I'm using 100 grain .243 Remington "Core-Lock".

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      04-21-2012 06:18 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by emmettlodge View Post
      Wow, okay!

      There are 4 holes I will be staking out. 2 of them are at about 120 yards from my 1st stake out location, 1 is 90 yards, and the last is 155 yards. These yardages are paced out, so approximate.

      The barrel twist rate is 10", 22" barrel length, and I'm using 100 grain .243 Remington "Core-Lock".
      They tend to stray quite far away from their holes. It can be up to 40 yards or so, depending on how old they are or how hard they are hunted, by man or beast. Even if you find their holes, they may or may not be near them. I got between a baby and it's hole, once, when I was fishing the brook that runs through the fields I used to hunt them in. I sat down to watch it and it started gnashing it's teeth and lunging at me. It scared the hell out of me and I swung my fishing rod at him and the reel hit him in head and killed it. It broke the handle of my rod, too

      My brother had a briard, it's a kind of sheep dog. The dog was barking at a woodchuck once, had him on it's back and my sister-in-law walked over to it and the woodchuck bit the dogs nose. The dog killed the woodchuck and my brother had to pay a $200 vet bill to get the dog's nose stapled back together. That dog became death to woodchucks. Absolutely hated them after that. It was hard to get close to a woodchuck anywhere near his house, they were so skittish.
      Quote Originally Posted by winstonsmith84 View Post
      Tax? I don't mind paying state sales tax. Every time a see a pothole, a school that is falling down or a canceled essential state program, I remind myself why.
      Quote Originally Posted by Tornado2dr View Post
      535 members of congress plus 1 pres screwing us all the time...that's dirty pirate hooker level gang rape.

    13. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      04-21-2012 06:40 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by emmettlodge View Post
      Wow, okay!

      There are 4 holes I will be staking out. 2 of them are at about 120 yards from my 1st stake out location, 1 is 90 yards, and the last is 155 yards. These yardages are paced out, so approximate.

      The barrel twist rate is 10", 22" barrel length, and I'm using 100 grain .243 Remington "Core-Lock".
      What range is your scope zeroed at? What is your elevation above sea level?

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

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      04-21-2012 06:48 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Obin Robinson View Post
      What range is your scope zeroed at? What is your elevation above sea level?

      obin
      Right now I'm bore sighted only to 100 yards.

      Our elevation is 1,140 ft.


    15. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      04-21-2012 06:52 PM #15
      Last question: duplex reticle or mil-dot reticle?

      Also PM me your e-mail address, the chart won't print out correctly here.

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    16. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      04-21-2012 07:32 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by emmettlodge View Post
      Right now I'm bore sighted only to 100 yards.

      Our elevation is 1,140 ft.

      I just e-mailed you a stack of ballistics charts based on the info you gave me. At a range between 5 yards and 1,000 yards you should be within 1/4" of the chart I sent.

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

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      04-21-2012 10:14 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Obin Robinson View Post
      I just e-mailed you a stack of ballistics charts based on the info you gave me. At a range between 5 yards and 1,000 yards you should be within 1/4" of the chart I sent.

      obin
      Just got them, thanks so much! That's way more information than I probably need But the drop calculations especially are going to be invaluable.

      Now all I need is a laser range finder. And a bipod. And a gillie suit. And more ammo. This hobby is expensive

    18. Member greyhare's Avatar
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      04-21-2012 10:20 PM #18
      Obin, what ballistics program are you using? Just curious.

    19. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      04-22-2012 07:58 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by greyhare View Post
      Obin, what ballistics program are you using? Just curious.
      http://ballistic.zdziarski.com/

      It is well worth the money.

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

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      04-22-2012 03:40 PM #20
      Just go here. All you need for ballistic calculations online and can print out range cards etc.

      http://www.jbmballistics.com/ballist...culators.shtml

    21. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      04-22-2012 03:46 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by .:RDriver View Post
      Just go here. All you need for ballistic calculations online and can print out range cards etc.

      http://www.jbmballistics.com/ballist...culators.shtml
      JBM has good software and it works great if you have a chronograph or access to the factory load data. I used the JBM Ballistics software until we got the iPad. The nice thing about the one I use is that all the load data for hundreds of factory rounds is already in there.

      Another one I use is iStrelok:
      http://www.pcworld.com/appguide/app....2&expand=false

      There is a version for Android phones as well.

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

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      04-22-2012 09:35 PM #22
      Do you want to blow up groundhogs or simply eliminate them? A dollar a shot for .243? Why not a .17 HMR? Cheaper ammo and less recoil too. I have neither; just asking.

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      04-22-2012 10:13 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Toy View Post
      Do you want to blow up groundhogs or simply eliminate them? A dollar a shot for .243? Why not a .17 HMR? Cheaper ammo and less recoil too. I have neither; just asking.
      Well i guess first off i've never heard of a .17 caliber.

      But...The .22 i already owned wont sufficiently kill the groundhogs we have here according to several locals i talked to. They're too fat. Also i can't get accurate enough over 100 yrds with the .22 for head shots. So i knew i needed something larger than that. So a .17 obviously wouldnt work anyways.

      And i went to Gander Mountain and asked the experts "lets just say i had a groundhog problem, what would you guys use?" and they handed me the .243

    24. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      04-22-2012 10:14 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Toy View Post
      Do you want to blow up groundhogs or simply eliminate them? A dollar a shot for .243? Why not a .17 HMR? Cheaper ammo and less recoil too. I have neither; just asking.
      The nice thing about .243 is that it is you can reload the empties. You can tailor a load just for groundhogs or crank it up a notch for coyotes and larger game. The .17hmr is a good round but it doesn't have the versatility or long distance potential of a .243.

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

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      04-23-2012 02:25 PM #25
      They handed you a .243 because:
      First Observation: .243 packs of 20 cost $19
      22-250 is a staple for groundhogs (as is .223).

      .17HMR is effective as long as wind isn't a factor & as Obin mentioned, it tails off
      pretty quickly where as a .223 will keep moving. Up to ~ 150 yards, however, it
      will make short work of a ground marmit.

      FWIW, I've stopped counting how many groundhogs I've taken with my 10/22.
      (two just this weekend, although distance was closer to 70 yards)
      Out to 100yds, CCI stingers will drop a hog quickly with a well placed shot to
      the head or upper torso. Whoever told you .22LR wasn't effective is wrong.

      Edit - I didn't mean to sound discouraging, BTW. That's a fine rifle for a good price.
      .243 will destroy a groundhog, but unless you deal with ridiculous crosswinds & plan on
      shooting past 300yds, it is a bit overkill for Ohio varmits.
      Last edited by 2.FOH!!; 04-23-2012 at 02:45 PM.
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    26. 04-23-2012 03:10 PM #26
      I love 17hmr. great round. super flat shooting and very accurate within its intended range. the p-dogs I've gotten with it pretty much explode. accurate enough for paint balls at 100 yards. its a a whole different thing from .22lr, and past 100 yards it out does the 22mag.

      one of the good things about it, its very frangible, so misses and pass threw's don't have nearly as much chance of a dangerous ricochet.

      don't have any experiance with the .243. seems like a pretty good round.. though maybe a bit of over kill for rodents

    27. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      05-02-2012 07:08 PM #27
      Bump up to see if you bagged one of the groundhogs yet?

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    28. Member compy222's Avatar
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      05-03-2012 10:14 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by dj age one View Post
      I love 17hmr. great round. super flat shooting and very accurate within its intended range. the p-dogs I've gotten with it pretty much explode. accurate enough for paint balls at 100 yards. its a a whole different thing from .22lr, and past 100 yards it out does the 22mag.

      one of the good things about it, its very frangible, so misses and pass threw's don't have nearly as much chance of a dangerous ricochet.

      don't have any experiance with the .243. seems like a pretty good round.. though maybe a bit of over kill for rodents
      I too have a .17hmr savage with a 3-9x. i can hit a nickel at 100 yards provided there is little wind. past a 10-20 mph crosswind and you have to start getting creative. on a still day i was punching holes in an index card at past 150 yards...so flat shooting...

      .243 is a great rifle. good pick-up. you could probably hunt larger game like coyote, white tail, or feral pig.
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

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      05-03-2012 10:59 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by Obin Robinson View Post
      Bump up to see if you bagged one of the groundhogs yet?

      obin
      Thanks for the bump Obin

      I've actually not had ANY luck at all

      I've been hunting them almost every late afternoon/evening now. I do see them but they're either not in a position where I can make a clear or safe shot, or they're moving, or they're just not around/out. I took one pot shot at one that was trundling along but missed it by about 3 feet

      I wonder if they're bored of laughing at me yet

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      05-03-2012 11:09 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by emmettlodge View Post
      Thanks for the bump Obin

      I've actually not had ANY luck at all

      I've been hunting them almost every late afternoon/evening now. I do see them but they're either not in a position where I can make a clear or safe shot, or they're moving, or they're just not around/out. I took one pot shot at one that was trundling along but missed it by about 3 feet

      I wonder if they're bored of laughing at me yet


      Once they get bored they will slow down thinking you won't get 'em.

      Then you turn them inside out!

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      05-03-2012 11:12 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by compy222 View Post
      .......
      .243 is a great rifle. good pick-up. you could probably hunt larger game like coyote, white tail, or feral pig.
      No probably about it! .243 will take any of those just fine. However, keyword too feral is PIG, not HOG. HOGS can be a whole 'nother ball game.

      On a side note I dig the paint job. I really have been considering one of these entry level rifles to paint and use as a basic varmint/predator rifle. Although, that's what I built the AR for, what's another rifle in the safe??


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      05-04-2012 10:27 AM #32
      i have a funny feeling that .243 will evaporate a small ground hog...probably roughly the same effect .17hmr has on squirrels...
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

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      05-04-2012 11:26 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by compy222 View Post
      i have a funny feeling that .243 will evaporate a small ground hog...probably roughly the same effect .17hmr has on squirrels...
      Whenever I do eventually hit one of these suckers, I'm expecting a substantial red mist

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      05-04-2012 01:59 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by HookedOn16v View Post
      No probably about it! .243 will take any of those just fine. However, keyword too feral is PIG, not HOG. HOGS can be a whole 'nother ball game.
      Lol, wut? Do you mean feral hogs/pigs and wild boar/pig? Either way, the .243 is fine for both with proper shot placement...


      OP, have any pics of the groups you shot? I am interested how those "entry level" Remmy's shoot.
      Hook'em Horns

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      Apr 6th, 2006
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      Oregon
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      05-04-2012 02:36 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by LinkATX View Post
      Lol, wut? Do you mean feral hogs/pigs and wild boar/pig? Either way, the .243 is fine for both with proper shot placement...

      Yeah, however you want to phrase it.

      Sure shot placement is key with anything, but there's nothing wrong packing a little bit bigger round for a bit bigger animal!
      Last edited by HookedOn16v; 05-04-2012 at 02:50 PM.

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